|Fri 7 Dec 2012, 8:00pm|
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It’s easy to list the achievements of musician Sam Sparro.
His platinum break-out hit 'Black & Gold' charted top 20 in 14 countries and earned him a Grammy nomination. His self titled album debuted top 5 in the UK and earned Gold certification and further praise from the world’s media. He has collaborated with Basement Jaxx, Mark Ronson, DJ Mason and DMC, remixed Kimbra, OK Go and Sky Ferriera and has written songs for the likes of Adam Lambert and Natasha Bedingfield. There are the celebrated live shows and sets at all the biggest festivals, and prestigious MTV and ARIA nominations in his native Australia (and all before the age of 29).
What’s more difficult, is trying to define Sam Sparro - the artist, but this is what makes him so interesting.
Part soul crooner, part pop star with an ever-morphing, chameleon-like quality, Sam coasts a fine line between disarmingly earnest and chic, credible cool. He has become known not only for his distinct, scale-defying vocals and epic live shows, but also as a visual artist and style icon, inspired as much by Jean-Paul Goode and Andy Warhol as he is by Prince and James Murphy.
If you believe in destiny – music was Sam's. If you don’t, perhaps you could explain this talent as ‘simply genetic’. His grandfather a celebrated jazz musician, his father a gospel minister and recording artist, his mother an organ player and his brother a professional guitarist – it was a childhood filled with music.
“Music was something that I was always around and always did. Everyone in my family was musical, going back 5 generations! I was always around people playing instruments and singing and performing”. Sam recalls working as early as 4 years of age, but things shifted a gear at the ripe old age of 11 when he began singing professionally on children’s records, gospel records and on TV commercials.
It was when his family moved from Australia to Los Angeles in 1993 that he became entrenched in music, spending every free moment playing his keyboard, programming beats, and singing with his church choir, led by the McCrary Sisters (who sang with musical legends - Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Chaka Khan). His musical taste and knowledge stretches far and wide - from soul classics and pop obscurities to dance floor staples and mainstream delights.
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